You are currently viewing archive for May 2006
Jihad Watch commemorates the fall of Constantinople to the Turks; the day one of the bastions of Christianity fell to the Muslims. Since I could not find a permalink to the particular article, I have copied it into the extended section below.

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It may be that the resurgent radical Islam engaging in terrorism world-wide is the last-gasp of the Muslim religion and culture as a powerful force in the modern world. As we enter the 21st century, traditional Islam is under siege from two sources.

On the one side is the attractive power of Western consumer society in all its decadence--modern television programming, movies, music videos, pornography, fashion, consumer geegaws. In sum: the exaltation of the individual as hedonistic consumer. Enough anecdotal evidence can be found in media reports over the last decade to verify that many, many young Muslims have felt this attractive power, even in the Middle East.

On the other side is the attractive power of Christianity. While not widely reported in the MSM, Muslims are converting to Christianity at a rate probably not seen before in history. This is true not only for Africa, but there is even a growing movement of underground house-churches in Iran. Many of these conversions are the results of missionary radio with clandestine follow-up by local believers.

Not only is the future of the West at stake; the future of Islam is also.
It seems to me that there are big obstacles to our winning the “War on Terror”; and they seem almost insurmountable.

1) Political correctness: note the name "War on Terror;" we cannot even name the enemy correctly—we need to be talking about the War Against Imperial Islam, or perhaps the War on Radical Islam; sloppy terminology reflects sloppy thinking. And we must be clear-headed because the danger we face is as great as any external threat in our history. Because of political correctness we cannot engage in reasonable and needed security profiling. (If the IRA ever starts a war against the US, I will understand if I get searched and questioned more than Native Americans or Asians. I will not blame my government; I will blame the enemy who started the war.) We need to monitor mosques and shut down those that spread the disease of militant Islam here in the US.

2) Moral equivalency: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." “Who are we to say that the Western way is superior to medieval Islamic fundamentalism?” “Our killing them is just as bad as them killing us.” As has been observed, those who say things like this don’t really believe what they say. They are not moving to countries without a free press, freedom of assembly, free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable searches, the right to be judged by a jury of one’s peers, habeas corpus, the right to vote, etc.

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The attack on the US by radical Islamists has turned our attention away from the threat posed by Communist China to US interests. A flashpoint in the not-too-distant future will be Taiwan, an island claimed by the Communist Chinese. The claim is dubious. Since when did an empire (modern Chinese borders are the result of Chinese imperial expansion, with some adjustments such as those done by Russian imperialism) have a sacred right to every bit of territory that it ever claimed? In the case of Taiwan, the claim does not stand up to close scrutiny. And, believe it or not, an American mainline denomination this summer will consider a resolution in support of an independent Taiwan. (cont.)

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In an earlier post, I pointed to Benedict XVI's clear thinking on Islam and its relation to modernity, especially pluralism. There are signs that Benedict XVI intends to give consistent attention to the relationship between Islam and Christianity, including gently putting pressure on Islam to respect Christianity. Recently he has called for Muslim nations to show tolerance toward Christians. While the Pope's words would seem very gentle to American readers, they would not be heard as gentle words in nations that practice Islamic law.
In addition, (cont.)

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In early January Hugh Hewitt did an interview with Father Jospeh Fessio that deserves more attention that it has received. In the interview candid comments from Pope Benedict XVI (former Cardinal Ratzinger) on Islam were related. The gist of the Pope's comments are below

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Along with hunger, thirst, and other basic human drives is one that modern secular elites continue to overlook: the religious impulse. Humans naturally seek to understand and explain their world and themselves in ways that give meaning to their existence. Humans want to feel connected to "something more" beyond themselves. We need a "Beyond" so badly that if we turn from traditional religions we still turn to something--whether UFOs or the Hollywood fad of the year such as Kabbala, channeling, or crystals. To understand a person you must come to understand how his or her religious impulse is expressed. To understand a society or group we must understand the shape and content of its religious expression.

Little Green Footballs today provides a glimpse into the mind of radical Islam that we must see and try to understand: the mother/child relationship, and, understanding the Quran.